As we continue to wait on whether or not Ryan Dempster will become a member of the Atlanta Braves, let's take a look at some of the top performers from Monday's games.
Jeff Samardzija fired another great start last night against the Pirates, throwing 8 scoreless innings and allowing just 2 base runners en route to the victory. Samardzija seems to me like a perfect streaming candidate for the rest of the season, as he could be well used in certain matchups. I don't know if I would have seen this coming against the Pirates though.
His opposite number, Erik Bedard, was a tough luck loser despite striking out 11 over 7 innings of 1 run ball. I don't know if it is possible at this point, but selling high on him might be a good idea if someone is desperate for strikeouts.
The most surprising trade of the season to this point was the Yankees' acquisition yesterday of Mariners' OF Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro hit 8th, and went 1 for 4 with a stolen base. I would have to imagine that Ichiro will get at least a decent amount of playing time with Brett Gardner out for the year, and this move would have to increase his value at least some what from where it was.
Justin Masterson had a great start last night, allowing 1 earned run over 7 1/3 innings and striking out 6. Masterson always seems to me like a starter who has the potential to be good, and yet you don't feel quite right when you roster him and start him in the lineup.
The Phillies came back last night to get Roy Halladay off the hook, and I'm curious to see what Halladay does in his next start. He went 6 innings last night, but allowed 6 earned runs and 9 base runners while striking out just 3. I recently acquired Halladay as a part of a stretch run in one of my leagues, and I'm really hoping that this is not a sign of things to come for the rest of the year.
Bryce Harper went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 3 runs batted in, his 9th home run of the season, and his 13th stolen base. Harper has an outside shot at 15 hr/20 sb for the season, and looks like he could be a threat to steal 20 next year as well. His success rate on steals has been great so far, which you love to see out of a rookie like Harper.
While the Braves push to buy on the trade market, their opponent last night definitely announced that they are selling. The Marlins saw Josh Johnson throw six shutout innings with 9 strikeouts on the same night that they announced that Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante were traded to the Tigers. Rumors are swirling around the Marlins, as there may be a chance of Hanley Ramirez being available as well.
The Rangers are probably in the market for more pitching after finding out that Colby Lewis will miss the rest of the season due to a torn flexor tendon. They are getting back Neftali Feliz soon though, so they may not be willing to open up the farm system to acquire a top notch starting pitching rental.
Francisco Liriano has been one of the big names out on the trade rumor mill, but his performance last night didn't do anyone any favors with regard to his value. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, gave up 7 earned, including 3 home runs. He still seems likely to be traded, but I wonder honestly if the Twins will get back anything of value other than salary relief.
Josh Rutledge was suggested as a better option in the comments of my piece about Angels' SS Jean Segura, and based on how he's hitting I'd have to agree. He hit his first home run yesterday against Arizona, and is now up to .368/.390/.684 on the season. I don't think he can keep this up, but ride this until he cools off.
Buster Posey has likely established himself as the top catcher for fantasy going into the 2013 season at this point, and he had another great night against the Padres last night. He went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, his 13th home run of the season, and 4 runs batted in. He is also hitting .313/.383/.506 on the season.
Just a quick reminder, Mike Trout is very good at this game. He had another hit last night, and has now scored a run in each of the last 15 games. For the month of July, he's up to .426/.481/.868 with 7 home runs and 9 stolen bases.